Parents, teachers and students have long been in discussion of an appropriate syllabus for students, mostly according to age and relevance.
A recent case saw Cikgu Fadli Salleh, a local educator, expressing concern towards one particular question he encountered in a Standard 3 workbook, where students are asked to convert RM1 to multiple other forms of Asian currency such as Vietnam dong and Singapore dollars.
“Can you guess which grade is meant to complete this exercise? It’s for Standard 3 students, gentlemen. A 9-year-old child is expected to learn how to exchange foreign currency accurately. They would need to prepare a piece of paper, have a phone next to them, and know what the current rate of exchange is for the Ringgit against the Cambodian riel, or against the Vietnamese Dong,” he wrote.
Some argue that it is crucial to offer this lesson because many youngsters will probably travel with their families abroad and will need to memorise these facts, while some say that teachers shouldn’t disregard the ability of students at that age.
Cikgu Fadli notes that these are a few of the excuses given by individuals in positions of power for including these tasks in the syllabus, and claims that they are among the reasons why educators have had disputes over the updating of the new textbook curriculum.
Cikgu Fadli, in response, stated that he finds their arguments absurd and wonders how many parents would actually send their kids to the money changers to convert foreign cash before a trip for this to be a crucial enough lesson that has to be taught in schools.
“However, I concur in one area. I concur that we shouldn’t undervalue our kids’ abilities. Even so, it is illogical to include something that has no place in the syllabus. They are too young to understand the differences between Asian and Western currencies. They shouldn’t be learning about the rise and fall of exchange rates at this young age. Where was the logic in developing this curriculum?” he queried, adding that he, at 33-years-old, still needs to use Google to check the currency exchange rates.
What do you think? Is this crucial to the students’ education or is it a little too advanced?